Thursday, June 23, 2011

Columbia Product Review and Gu

I was recently contacted by Columbia to be a part of their Spring Field Test where they sent me their Cool Rules top. This product came at a great time because as I recently noted here, in the heat I generally avoid tops of any kind and stick to sports bras only which has recently brought on a few awkward experiences. For me the usual Chicago summer humidity makes me sweat like a nasty pig and I feel like I cannot breath in tops, but I thought that I would give this tee a go anyways.


Ignore the smug look on my face and the crazy hair, it was early.

A few bits of info about this top, taken from Columbias website:

Our new Omni-Freeze® features special flat yarn construction, which increases the surface area against your skin to pull heat away as soon as it’s generated. The result? Fabric that feels cool to the touch. Toss in UV-busting sun protection and advanced evaporation technology and you’ve got a running top that seriously does it all. Jacquard engineered mesh patterning is strategically placed on the back and at the underarm area for maximum ventilation in the places that you need it most.

  • Fabric: 95% polyester/5% elastane Freezer Deluxe
  • Omni-Freeze advanced cooling
  • Omni-Shade® UPF 30 sun protection
  • Omni-Wick® advanced evaporation
  • Form fit
  • 4-way comfort stretch
  • Vented
  • Imported

Yesterdays temps were mid 70's with a mix of patchy clouds, some rain, and the sun when I headed out for my run in this top. I wasn't sure how long I was going to be able to keep the thing on at first due to my intolerance for being hot, but I made it about 6.5 miles feeling quite comfy. After that the sun decided to come out and my body was just too warm to keep it on.


Yes this is my garage and that is the trunk of my car in the photo. And yes my father is a professional photographer and I do not know how to take photos, clearly I didn't inherit this gene.

Things I like about this top:
  • It kept me relatively comfortable and cool.
  • When I started to sweat, the top didn't weigh me down. The top wasn't absorbing my sweat which was nice.
  • The color matches my eyes, completely irrelevant but a nice perk.
  • Loose fitting, and I didn't feel restricted.
  • Lots of venting.
  • While I only made it 6.5 out of 9.6 miles in this top, for me that says a lot considering I usually cannot keep a top on for more then 1 mile.
  • The fabric doesn't absorb running stink like other tops.
  • It dried fast post run. After my run I headed to the gym and by the time I got there my the top was dry.
Things I didn't like:
  • The sizing runs a bit large. I asked for a small, and it was quite bulky on me for a running top.
  • The tag on the inside is HUGE. While I know that I could cut it off, I didn't think about that ahead of time and it was annoying me during my run.
  • This shirt is $45. Maybe it's just me and I'm cheap, but I feel like this is expensive for a short sleeved tee.
  • I don't think that for ME this is a good top for the summer. This is more of a spring/fall top when the humidity in Chicago isn't trying to kill me. But I will be rockin this top to the gym as often as possible.
If you are a person who likes to wear a wicking tee during the summer time and don't mind spending $45 on one top, I would definitely recommend heading to Columbia and picking up the Cool Rules top.

On another note, thank you to for all of the recommendations on sunblock and gu products recently. I really appreciate all of the info I have received, and I think that it is amazing that blogging athletes are willing to share their knowledge. You all are awesome and I'm sending you all thank you hugs.

This morning I headed out to my local Fleet Feet to pick up some gu like products. I love Fleet Feet because the staff is always so helpful, kind, knowledgeable, and patient. The lovely sales women that helped me out provided some great tips for guing this marathon season. Without my asking she went online to check out who was sponsoring the gu stations at the marathon so that I would be able to plan accordingly. One of the things that brings me the most joy in life is wonderful customer service, and this lady was awesome.

FYI: If you are running the Chicago marathon this fall, the gu stations will be sponsored by Clif Shot Gel.

TIP: The sales women told me that if I have a difficult time getting the gu down, to stick it in the freezer the night before use. Apparently it resembles a push pop when frozen and loses some of the sticky quality that so many people don't like.

***The Cool Rules top was provided to me free of charge for testing purposes. The opinions reflected here all all my own.***


  1. The Gu is definitely better when cold. I haven't frozen it but during my winter training runs it used to freeze on it's own while in my pocket and went down way easier!

    Ps - as I was reading this post, my bf was like "Why is her garage so huge? When we run the Urbanathlon ask her if we can sleep in there." Ahahaha

  2. Oh, that is a great tip about the GU. I could never stomach it but maybe if I put in the freezer it will work better for me.

  3. I also agree on the Gu tip: much better cold. (You know you're hungry on a morning run when you are excited to eat a Gu packet.)

  4. You are SO cute in your make a big frumpy workout shirt look good!

  5. um GU in the freezer! such a good ideaa!!

  6. First of all, Great review!! I am sweating like a nasty pig just looking at that shirt with sleeves though!! Anything over 45 degrees and I'm in a tank. PROFUSE sweat monger alert.

    And, no matter how comfy the fabric, you look way too good without the shirt. I say ditch it-ha!

    So, frozen Gu. How would do you keep it cold while you run (in the summer)? I wouldn't take it until an hour into a training run and if it was in a pocket etc. it would not be cold. I would have to put some thought into this.

    I like the Clif shot gels!

    I've been WAY behind in blogworld here so just catching up! I really appreciate your sweet comments before and after my race. Really meant a lot to me!

  7. I have to agree with Jenn....with a body like that, WHY would you wear a bulky shirt? mmmmmmm No. and oh my gosh, the GU tip? Please hug that sales lady for me next time you see her! I have a really hard time getting GU down so this is a GREAT TIP I can't wait to try! 10 more days!! woohooo. xxx

  8. great review, thanks for sharing